Darryl Glenn Wins Republican Senate Primary

Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

9News is calling the Republican Senate Primary for Darryl Glenn, who jumped out to a big early lead when numbers showed he had a 20,000-vote advantage in El Paso County alone.

ProgressNow Colorado issued the following statement as the news was breaking:

With Republican U.S. Senate primary returns showing El Paso County Commissioner Darryl “Gridlock” Glenn winning that party’s nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, decried the result as further proof of the right wing’s complete leadership breakdown at every level of government.

“From Ted Cruz to Donald Trump and now Darryl Glenn, Colorado Republicans appear determined to make the worst possible choices in 2016,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Glenn is the least qualified candidate to win a statewide Republican nomination since Dan Maes in 2010, and we all remember how well that worked out for the GOP. Glenn’s arch-right conservatism, refusal to reach across the aisle, and outright hostility to even the idea of compromise has earned him the nickname ‘Gridlock Glenn.’”

Tonight, the far right in Colorado once again picked a candidate who can’t win,” said Silverii. “While Democrats are rightfully cheering this outcome, the real losers are reasonable Colorado conservatives who have no one left to support in either the presidential or the U.S. Senate race.”

“Darryl Glenn’s nomination shows how little Colorado conservatives have learned from their mistakes,” said Silverii.


2016 Primary Election Day Open Thread #2

UPDATE 9:05: Lots of results in now. GOP incumbents Gordon Klingenschmitt and Janak Joshi both go down in El Paso County. Leslie Herod wins in the Democratic stronghold of HD-8. Rhonda Fields way ahead of Sue Ryden in SD-29.

For much for that: CD-1 Rep. Diana DeGette crushes challenger Chuck Norris with over 86%. In CD-5 Doug Lamborn whoops upstart challenger Calandra Vargas, but we suspect we haven’t seen the last of her.

Democrat Jeff Bridges narrowly leads Meg Froelich in competitive HD-3.

And Beth McCann wins big, perhaps anticlimactically big, over Michael Carrigan in the Denver DA race.


UPDATE 7:34PM: In HD-42, Dominique Jackson is crushing con-man Eric Nelson in a Democratic Primary.


UPDATE 7:21PM: Election results from the Secretary of State’s office available at this link.


UPDATE 7:10PM: Darryl Glenn has a sizable lead in early returns out of El Paso County — the home county of both Glenn and Robert Blaha. As of this writing, Glenn had 28,000 votes in El Paso — 20,000 more than the next highest candidate, Blaha.





Stand by for results.

BREAKING: Shooting At Colorado Liberal Political Office Building

The Alliance Center, Denver CO.

The Alliance Center, Denver CO.

A terrible story taking over local headlines right now, though there’s not much to say just yet. Denver Post:

Denver Police and emergency crews swarmed into lower downtown Tuesday afternoon after a gunman opened fire inside a crowded office building. Police said the gunman is dead.

One woman was taken to Denver Health in critical condition with multiple gunshots, said Dr. Eric Lavonas.

Police closed streets near 15th and Wynkoop and urged merchants and residents in the area to shelter in place. Police said officers have cleared the shooting scene at the Alliance Center in the 1500 block of Wynkoop in what remains an active investigation. The building houses a number of left-leaning political and environmental groups.

We’ve heard early reports suggesting that the employees of a number of liberal and environmental groups who have offices at the Alliance Center, including Conservation Colorado and Common Cause, were not injured. We’ll update once we learn more about the victim(s) and the shooter.

Scary stuff, folks–but as always, let’s be careful about speculating until we know more.

Windholz implies pro-choice supporters care less about women than opponents of choice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

Colorado State Rep. JoAnn Windholz, who called Planned Parenthood officials the “real culprits” in last year’s clinic massacre in Colorado Springs, took to Facebook yesterday to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a women’s right to choose.

“The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion,” Windholz wrote on Facebook, adding that that it “isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well.”

“So who cares about women more?” she asked in the post.

In fact, the Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that the Texas abortion restrictions, which, among other things, required that abortion clinics be equipped like complete surgical units, were not medically necessary.

Windholz: Who could find fault with a law that improves health and safety standards in order to protect women inside abortion clinics? You would think that the pro-abortion side would want to have additional safety measures in place for women. That is not the case. The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion in a 5-3 decision (against 2013 Texas law) to not make it a necessary for abortion doctors to have admitting privilege at a local hospital. Why – because it would mean something went seriously wrong with an abortion. It isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well. So who cares about women more?

The court found that real intent of the Texas legislature was, in fact, to unconstitutionally limit a women’s right to an abortion by requiring clinic doctors to have, for example, admitting privileges, when the health benefit of such privileges is minimal.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer  wrote in the majority opinion, “Nationwide, childbirth is 14 times more likely than abortion to result in death… but Texas law allows a midwife to oversee childbirth in the patient’s own home.”

It’s unclear what Windholz means when she wrote, “So who cares about women more?”

And Windholz did not immediately return a call seeking an explanation.

But it appears Windholz does not believe that people or even Supreme Court Justices care about women if they support a women’s right to choose.

Shortly after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last year, Windholz wrote on Facebook, as first reported by The Colorado Independent:

Windholz: Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence. So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”

Get More Smarter on Primary Day (June 28)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionIt all comes down to this…until it all comes down to November. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► The Primary Election is today, which should not come as much of a surprise to anyone reading these words. If you still have a mail ballot buried under a pile of coupons at the end of your kitchen table, don’t even think about mailing that sucker (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other in-person voting locations, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am today. Turnout for Democrats is at 23%, while Republican voters are nearing 28%.

And remember, if you see a candidate, staffer, or volunteer today, say thanks.


► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Denver today to enjoy the Primary festivities for a campaign event at the headquarters of something called the “Galvanize” co-working space. Clinton will also attend at least one private fundraising event today before departing Colorado.


► Benghazi! Oh, wait…

As the Washington Post reports:

A final report issued by the Republican majority that investigated the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, found fault with virtually every element of the executive branch response to the attacks but provided no new evidence of specific wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [Pols emphasis]

…But while it contains voluminous additional details of what happened before, during and after the attacks on State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, the report’s overall narrative does not substantively differ from previous investigations and numerous news accounts over the years.

That sound you hear is the echo of Republicans slapping their foreheads and yelping, D’oh!


► Can El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn complete his long journey to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate? As the conservative National Review explains…maybe:

Three months ago, El Paso (Colo.) county commissioner Darryl Glenn had just over $11,000 in his Senate-campaign account. He had no paid staffers. And though he’d elevated his profile with a stem-winder of a speech at Colorado’s GOP convention and won his way onto the ballot — much to the surprise of many onlookers — as recently as mid May, most Republicans were still writing him off.

But that was then.

Though several Colorado Republicans describe the primary race as a “crapshoot,” many now expect Glenn to emerge victorious when primary ballots are tallied Tuesday evening. In the five-way primary, he has managed to capitalize on the fractured field thanks to a surge of support from movement conservatives, including an outside group that has made independent expenditures on his behalf.

We’ve had Glenn atop The Big Line ever since he pulled off his stunning upset at the State Republican Convention in April. If we were the betting type — and we are — we’d have to go with Glenn as the favorite tonight. But if you read the news today in Colorado, you’ll notice a common theme: CRAPSHOOT!


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Last Ballot Return Numbers Before Primary


Here you go: The latest (and last) turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday):


Ballots sent: 990,961;
Ballots returned: 232,273;
Percent: 23.43%


Ballots sent: 997,793;
Ballots returned: 277,588;
Percent: 27.82%

How do these numbers compare to past Primary races? According to the SOS’s office:

The turnout among active voters in the 2014 primary was 21.84 percent. In that contest, almost one-fifth of the ballots were turned in on Election Day. In 2012, the primary turnout was 23.76 percent.  In 2010 — a year with high-profile contested races among both Republicans and Democrats — the turnout hit 36.7 percent.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

Jon Keyser: A Hyperlink Metaphor

iraqiinformationministerUPDATE: The link in question in the Keyser email has been broken since at least Monday, when a similar GOTV email was sent out.


We’ve been increasingly amused over the last few days by last-minute get-out-the-vote missives from the star-crossed Jon Keyser for U.S. Senate campaign. As Keyser gets ready to ride Election Night out on the couch at home this evening, on course for fifth place in this five-man race, whatever is left of his campaign is busy sending out bizarrely confident messages to the email list about Keyser’s imminent primary election victory.

See the image to the right for the best analogy we can think of.

Today’s GOTV message was little different, cheering Keyser on to glorious victory in November after his win tonight:

We’re going to give Michael Bennet the fight of his political life this November, but we need your help getting over this first hurdle.

It’s time Michael Bennet be made to answer for his support for President Obama’s dangerous policies, like closing Guantanamo Bay and setting up a nuclear Iran with their “deal.”

It’s time Michael Bennet be made to answer for his support for Obamacare. He should have an answer on the impacts Obamacare has had in our state—forcing people out of the plans they like and making them pay even higher premiums.

I’m ready to take the fight to the Democrats this November, and I hope you are too. It starts now—please vote today!

But from there, things get a little technically…well, screwy:

If you have your ballot but haven’t sent it in, don’t put it in the mail – – there are ballot drop off locations all over the state.

When you click the link to get your ballot dropoff location, you’re taken to a blank white page with these two words (go ahead, try it):


Playing around with this, we realized that Keyser’s campaign was trying to link to JustVoteColorado.org, the voter information site run by Common Cause. The trouble is, their email software attached a long “tracking code” to the link that Common Cause’s website rejects with the above message.

In Jon Keyser’s particular case, an ironic, even tragicomic message.

For what might be the last message from Keyser’s once-promising campaign before his ignominious defeat this evening, it’s an unintended metaphor like few others we’ve seen in politics.

Nice try indeed, Jon Keyser. Nice try indeed.

To Everyone Who Worked on a Primary Race: Take a Bow

It’s finally here. You’ve labored through months and months of long hours, endured sore knuckles and blistered feet, angry voters, angrier opponents, and fire-breathing supporters of your opponents.

And now, you wait.

For candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers, Election Day is a strange time; you want to do everything you can to help your campaign to the finish line, but there’s really not much left to be done. So you fidget. You make a few phone calls. Perhaps you wave signs at intersections. But mostly, you wait.

So to all of the candidates and campaign staffers throughout Colorado who have put their hearts and souls into one particular race — no matter the political party — take a bow. You’ve earned it. Thanks for everything you do.

Jon Keyser Declares Death of Senate Campaign

Good luck trying to find Jon Keyser on Tuesday.

Good luck trying to find Jon Keyser on Tuesday.

This is a pretty astounding admission from the Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser. As Brandon Rittiman reports for 9News:

As the results come out in Tuesday’s GOP primary for US Senate, all but one of the five candidates will hold election night parties for their campaign supporters.

Former state legislator Jon Keyser will take the quieter option of watching election returns “at home with his wife and kids,” according to campaign spokesman Matt Connelly.

To political observers, it’s an obvious sign that his campaign is in bad shape.

“That’s a really bad sign,” said 9NEWS Republican expert Kelly Maher. “The only reason to not have an event is if you have some information that doesn’t point to a favorable outcome.” [Pols emphasis]

It’s certainly an unusual move. Even when candidates expect to lose badly, they tend to hold events on election nights to thank donors and volunteers for their support.

It’s not much of a surprise to learn that not even Jon Keyser thinks Jon Keyser is going to win the GOP Senate nomination on Tuesday, but hiding in your house on Election Night is damn near unprecedented. We can’t recall the last time we heard that a candidate for a major statewide office was completely forgoing any sort of election night event; even Scott McInnis had an election-night party after it was obvious that he was going to lose the 2010 GOP gubernatorial Primary to Dan Maes.

Republican commentator Kelly Maher, once a big cheerleader for Keyser, put the final nail in Keyser’s coffin with her quote for 9News that all but declares the patient campaign dead. This isn’t just an embarrassing loss for Keyser — this is an embarrassment for the entire Republican establishment that tried to invent Keyser as a candidate for U.S. Senate.

Keyser was a tough-talking candidate when it came to his military service and his shameful attempts to browbeat reporters. Taking the coward’s way out on Tuesday sums up Keyser better than any attack ad could have spun things, and it may very well end whatever could have remained of his political career.

Woods defends comparing police to Crips and Bloods

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

In a Facebook post Saturday, State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) defended her comparison of police to Crips and Bloods.

Woods wrote that when some law enforcement officials confiscate property under Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, it’s a “direct violation of due process,” and she asks, “And what makes that any different than a gang member or a common street thug who takes something from you?” She also emphasized that she supports “law enforcement at every level.”

But she did not explain why the comparison of police to violent and murderous gang members was appropriate, especially for an elected official.

It’s one thing to criticize police appropriately, in an effort to improve things, and clearly asset-forfeiture abuse must be stopped, but Crips and Bloods? How does that comparison benefit Arvada?

Reporters should make an effort to find out why Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, thinks such an extreme comparison is justifiable.

Woods initially made the comparison on a talk radio show, affirmatively agreeing that police and Crips and Bloods are “no different” in some situations involving confiscation of property.

CALLER MIKE: Ok, so, Laura, these [police] are no different than the Bloods and the Crips that they’re constantly whining and crying about down in downtown Denver or Colorado Springs, or up in [Fort] Collins. I mean, how is law enforcement different from the people they’re fighting? I mean, if they can just take your stuff for no reason.

WOODS: Yeah, when they are taking stuff from innocent people with no conviction or no charges filed, they are no different.


WOODS: Yeah.

Here’s Woods’ statement on Facebook:


Donald Trump Plummeting in National Polls

"I'm fired!"

“I’m fired!”

Perhaps it might be a good time for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump to start, you know, actually campaigning for a victory in the General Election. As Politico reports:

Donald Trump said last week he hasn’t really started campaigning in the general election. It shows in his poll numbers.

After weeks of blistering news coverage, the latest round of national and battleground-state polling underscores the hole in which Trump now finds himself: trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin with fewer than 100 days remaining until early voting begins in the key swing states of Ohio and Iowa.

Two new, major national polls released Sunday morning — surveys from ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/Wall Street Journal — differ to some degree, but both are consistent with the broader trend: Clinton holds a reliable lead over Trump, an advantage that occasionally swells to double digits.

Trump now trails Clinton by 6.3 points in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, and by 6.6 points in the HuffPost Pollster model. In the key states in the Electoral College, POLITICO’s Battleground States polling average shows Clinton ahead by 4.3 points. And perhaps even more important, Trump is lagging behind on a number of other key indicators, including candidate favorability.

Many Colorado Republicans remain confused about whether or not they can/should support Trump in a General Election, but there’s no question about the disastrous effects Trump could have on down-ticket races in our state. For Colorado Republicans, the only thing worse than Donald Trump as your Presidential nominee is Donald Trump running a terrible campaign for President.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 27)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionRemember, friends: If you still have a ballot at home, it is too late to put it in the mail. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Colorado’s Primary Election is tomorrow, which means it is too late to put your ballot in the mail if you haven’t voted already (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other voter information, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am on Monday.


► The Supreme Court had a busy morning as it works on finishing up its to-do list before Justices begin their annual summer break. The Washington Post reports on the ruling that captured the most attention:

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Texas abortion restrictions that have been widely duplicated in other states, a resounding win for abortion rights advocates in the court’s most important consideration of the controversial issue in 25 years.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in the 5 to 3 decision, which said Texas’s arguments that the clinic restrictions were to protect women’s health were cover for making it more difficult to obtain an abortion.

The challenged Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and said that clinics must meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers.

Similar restrictions have been passed in other states, and officials say they protect patients. But the court’s majority sided with abortion providers and medical associations who said the rules are unnecessary and so expensive or hard to satisfy that they force clinics to close.

In a separate ruling that was also announced today, the Supreme Court overturned a corruption conviction for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Critics worry that the court’s decision in the McDonnell case could make it harder to prosecute public officials for criminal wrongdoing.


► The five Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race continue to straddle the fence on their support of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. As John Frank writes for the Denver Post:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn made clear for months that he supported Donald Trump for president. He even called Trump “a patriot.”

But with Ted Cruz in Denver last week, Glenn added an “if” caveat that didn’t go unnoticed in the state that is driving the #DumpTrump effort ahead of the convention.

“Right now, we have a presumptive nominee,” Glenn started. “And if he remains our presumptive nominee, we have a responsibility, a responsibility, to get in line and support that candidate.”

(He also landed Cruz a standing ovation for this line: “If he cannot be our next president of the United States of America, I am personally going to lead the charge to make sure he’s our next Supreme Court justice.” Cruz demurred politely.)

Frank’s entire story is worth a read, as he tries to understand the meaning behind some of Glenn’s more cryptic comments on the GOP Presidential race.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Coors, Shanahan, Mizel Headline Denver Trump Fundraiser

Larry Mizel loves him some Donald Trump.

Larry Mizel loves him some Donald Trump.

As the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports:

Pete Coors and Mike Shanahan, a pair of giants in Colorado beer and football, are two of several boldfaced names planning a Friday fundraiser for Donald Trump to coincide with the Republican candidate’s visit to the state that day for the Western Conservative Summit.

While the names on the host committee may suggest a Sunday-tailgate kind of affair — Coors is a longtime beer executive and Shanahan used to coach the Denver Broncos — the entry fee to the presidential fundraiser is decidedly more expensive than what one would find in the parking lot of Mile High stadium…

Longtime Colorado kingmaker and political donor Larry Mizel also is listed as a co-chair.

Pete Coors, and especially Denver Republican kingpin Larry Mizel, hosting a fundraiser for the most controversial Republican presidential nominee since Barry Goldwater are the clearest signs we’ve seen locally of the attempt to make “legitimate” Republican politics safe for Donald Trump. It’s a most debatable question whether the damage widely expected to the Republican brand from Trump’s campaign will “trickle down” to those who put their own names on the line to support him.

Ordinarily we’d say a man of Mizel’s means and influence–influence that results from the means–can get away with anything. But Trump has a way of proving people wrong, often in ways that are damaging to one’s credibility. Hopefully one our state’s most legendary Republican powerbrokers doesn’t get burned.

Of course, Mizel will always have The CELL.

Bob Beauprez Making Dr. Chaps Very Angry

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt.

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Rachel Riley reports, the red-on-red purge campaign masterminded by two-time GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez rolls on–and is provoking an angry backlash from its targets, including SD-12 primary contender  Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt:

Just days before the primary election, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt is fighting back against a political advocacy group he believes to be responsible for mailing attack ads against him to Republican voters in his district.

Klingenschmitt, who faces Bob Gardner in the state Senate District 12 race Tuesday, submitted a letter to 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Thursday calling for a criminal investigation into former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, founder of nonprofit Colorado Pioneer Action.

In the letter, Klingenschmitt said the mailers contain false information, a misdemeanor under state law. He added that the ads also violate campaign finance law because they do not identify what individual or organization sent them…

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

You’ll recall earlier this month when GOP SD-4 candidate Jess Loban, running hard in a primary against “establishment” Ben Lyng, called out Beauprez via subordinate operative Justin Prendergast for wading into his primary. Loban also claimed that Beauprez’s group was running attacks against a number of conservative incumbent lawmakers in addition to Loban–including Reps. Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi, and Lori Saine. Lumping himself in with those incumbents is clearly about boosting Loban, since picking favorites in an open primary is much more acceptable behavior than attacking incumbents.

We haven’t heard as much about Saine and her primary against Mead trustee Colleen Whitlow in all of this, but Beauprez’s involvement in these two hot primary races in El Paso County seems quite likely to result in intra-GOP bad blood one way or the other. Despite the widespread loathing for Klingenschmitt in non-crazy Republican circles, we’ve heard that he may indeed be the favorite going into tomorrow’s primary against former Rep. Bob Gardner. We’re less certain about Joshi, whose cut-throat race against Larry Liston may hinge more on personal dislike for Liston.

In all of these races where Beauprez appears to be targeting conservative incumbents, there will be grateful winners and angry losers on Wednesday morning. Having lost two critical gubernatorial races for Colorado Republicans in two attempts, backroom purging and kingmaking may be Beauprez’s last best shot at relevance in our state’s politics.

But it had better work. If it doesn’t, Beauprez has made nothing but enemies.